• Developing creative approaches to fulfill the needs of others
  • Striving to succeed and staying positive even when encountering resistance
  • Searching for a resolution to satisfy the needs and requirements of all parties

At Funds For Learning, “solution-minded” is defined as doing our best to help others achieve their goals and meet their objectives. Oftentimes, in the course of helping others, we face resistance and discover hurdles to their success. This makes sense. After all, someone else probably wouldn’t be asking us for our help if it was easy. They’d have already taken care of it themselves.

Solution-minded, then, is not so much about whether or not we encounter difficult circumstances (we will); rather, it’s all about how we respond to those difficult circumstances. Will we stop when it starts getting hard? Will we take the first “no” as an excuse to give up? Or, will we strive to help others succeed? Please take two minutes and watch the following video clip. It illustrates the attitude embodied by “solution-minded.”

After the runner falls down, she could have chosen to quit the race or just finish it half-heartedly. Instead, she decides to get back up and reenter the race, intent on winning it. It’s pretty cool to watch.

This is a great illustration of solution-minded. Striving to succeed; pushing forward in the midst of setbacks, difficulties, or frustrations; persevering even when it looks like the race is lost; and keeping a positive mental outlook that continues to see success as a possibility in spite of the odds.

At Funds For Learning, our clients hire us for a reason -- they are under no obligation to use our services (even though we think it may be the best thing they have ever done.) They have a circumstance that requires help. They need more expertise, better tools, or even just more time. Our job is to help them win their race. It’s to look for solutions where it may seem impossible. It’s to help them get back up and reenter the race for the purpose of finishing strong.

Here are two practical steps to being solution-minded.

Start with the need, not the solution. Many times, a particular solution may not work. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solution for the problem. It just may mean that the solution you are considering isn’t the right one. If your solution isn’t working, it may be time to step back, better define the need at hand, and then brainstorm two or three alternative approaches to addressing the need.

Don’t stop at the first obstacle. The best new ideas and approaches are almost always developed as a result of running into some obstacle. Don’t see obstacles as defeat. Many times, they are the catalyst for new and better solutions. [Note: this doesn’t mean that we always succeed, or that it is wise to pursue goals indefinitely. It just means we need to be careful not to give up too soon after meeting resistance.]

Being solution-minded isn’t a guarantee that we will always win the race, or that we’ll always be able to give someone else what they are hoping for. But our clients, co-workers, and others are much more likely to achieve success because we are solution-minded. In the process, by not giving up too easily, we will learn much more about our own capabilities, and most likely discover new creative solutions along the way.

Key Words and Phrases
Strive for an answer; Find a new way; Seek a resolution; Persevere; Solve a problem; Deliver the results; Don’t stop at the first hurdle; Address the need.

Opposite Terms
Close-minded; Decline; Reject; Refuse.

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